Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024


Aotearoa NZ's independent voice of fishing, hunting & outdoors

Book reviews: November 2020

3 min read

Pick of the month

Wild at Heart: the dangers and delights of a nomadic life
Miriam Lancewood
Allen & Unwin

For a city slicker, giving up all creature comforts and living in a bush may seem too far-fetched but there are a few among us who wouldn’t mind the nomadic life.

Back in 2017, Mariam Lancewood’s first book outlined how the Netherlands-born had lived off-grid for six years in the South Island. Hunting wild animals and gathering plants and berries while living in a tent was the norm for her and her husband. And now, in this second instalment, she talks about how the pair walked 2000km through the forests of Europe and along the coast of Turkey, mostly camping under trees and cooking by fire. They embrace insecurity and often live on the edge and while sometimes it can be pure bliss, sometimes it is terrifying.

Lancewood’s book tells a gripping story and you definitely want to keep turning the pages. A thumbs up from our end.

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
Oscar Thomas
John Beaufoy Publishing

Kiwi teenager Oscar Thomas’ book is an easy-to-use pocket-sized guide to 238 New Zealand birds, with authoritative text describing identifying features, distribution, habits and habitat, and conservation status for each species.

Thomas’ interest in birds began on a school visit in 2010 and he spent his high school years volunteering for conservation organisations, advocating and raising awareness of New Zealand’s unique wildlife. He travelled the country, photographing different birds, which has culminated in this book that includes most commonly seen, unique, and endemic species.

The book also features an overview of geography and climate, habitats and bird communities, bird identification, and an up-to-date checklist of the birds of New Zealand.

A good compilation with high-quality photos from one of New Zealand’s youngest nature photographers. Definitely worth checking out.

Little Hector meets Mini Māui
Ruth Paul
Penguin Random House

In the third instalment in Little Hector’s series, Ruth Paul introduces young readers to New Zealand’s endemic Hector’s and Māui dolphins. The conservation-themed picture book is about size and pecking order, friendship, jealousy, and learning to get along.

The back cover also features facts about the dolphins and educates readers on the importance of saving them.

With easy-to-read text and vibrant illustrations, the book is perfect for young readers, aged three to five.

Golden Eyes: the yellow-eyed Penguin/Hoiho
Kelly Lynch
Bateman Books

Here’s another one for young readers. Golden Eyes introduces them to Bird of the Year 2020, the yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho.

World’s rarest penguin, highly endangered, and with a critically low population, the hoiho is found only in a few parts in New Zealand.

Golden Eyes takes readers on a journey of the hoiho’s daily life and highlights its unique features and daily routine that make the bird so special. Writer Kelly Lynch spent more than 10 years taking photographs that feature in the book.

The book is aimed at readers aged six plus and educates them on what can be done to help and protect these rare birds.


This month, we have a copy each of Wild at Heart, Birds of New Zealand, and Little Hector and two copies of Golden Eyes to give away! Perfect to add to your early Christmas stocking shopping.

To enter, click here.

Deadline: 10am 16 November 2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.